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Best Laywers and Key Murray Law.

Best Lawyers in Canada®

By | Key Murray News, Uncategorized | No Comments

Key Murray Law is proud to announce the recent inclusion of three of our firm’s team into the 12th Edition of Best Lawyers in Canada for 2018.

Derek Key is listed in Best Lawyers in Canada® in the practise areas of Corporate Law and Real Estate Law for 2018.

Lynn Murray is listed in Best Lawyers in Canada® in the practise areas of Administrative and Public Law, Corporate and Commercial Litigation, Family Law, Insurance Law and Labour and Employment Law for 2018. Lynn was also named the Best Lawyers’ 2018 Charlottetown Corporate and Commercial Litigation “Lawyer of the Year”.

Pamela Stewart is listed in Best Lawyers in Canada® in the practise area of Family Law for 2018.

About best Lawyers of Canada:

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For more than three decades, Best Lawyers lists have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.
Lists of outstanding attorneys are compiled by conducting exhaustive peer-review surveys in which tens of thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers. If the votes for an attorney are positive enough for inclusion in Best Lawyers, that attorney must maintain those votes in subsequent polls to remain on the list for each edition.

For more information about Key Murray Law, please contact one of our three Island locations.

Legal information appearing in this article and elsewhere on Key Murray Law’s website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for or replace any legal or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require legal advice, you should consult directly with one of our lawyers.
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Wrongful Death

By | Personal Injury Law, Uncategorized | No Comments

Limitation Period

How long do I have to sue when my loved one was killed as a result of a motor vehicle accident?

Losing a loved one in a motor vehicle accident is an extremely traumatic situation. No amount of money can compensate someone for the loss; however, in Prince Edward Island, family members can bring an action pursuant to the Fatal Accidents Act, R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. F-5.

In PEI, generally, the limitation period to sue a negligent driver who caused the death of a loved one is 2 years from the date of the accident; however, you always want to keep in mind who you are suing. If your case involves a Government entity, then different limitation periods may be at play. Furthermore, if the deceased had minor dependants, then different limitation periods apply for those minor children. Children have until 2 years after they turn 18 to sue.

Your best bet is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your situation and what will be required to protect your claim,

along with determining which family members may be able to make claims for their losses. Additionally, an Executor or Administrator of the deceased’s estate may need to be appointed before you can commence any legal action and therefore you want to give yourself as much time as possible to work with your lawyer and commence the necessary actions.

If you’ve lost a loved one as a result of an accident, please contact one of Key Murray Law’s experienced personal injury lawyers for a free initial consultation.

Cynthia A. Taylor
Associate
cynthia.taylor@keymurraylaw.com
902-368-7824

 

Legal information appearing in this article and elsewhere on Key Murray Law’s website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for or replace any legal or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require legal advice, you should consult directly with one of our lawyers.
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Disability Insurance

By | Personal Injury Law, Uncategorized | No Comments

“Peace of Mind” Coverage

When you are injured or otherwise unable to work, having disability coverage provides for corresponding disability benefits can offer peace of mind such that you know the financial stresses arising from your disability will be eased, at least in part. In fact, the Supreme Court of Canada has found disability benefit policies to be “peace of mind” policies, thus triggering a higher level of good faith obligations from the insurance company, even beyond similar obligations found to arise from other types of insurance policies.

Insurance companies are entitled to reasonably reject claims that are not covered by a policy and the onus (burden) to establish that your claim fits within the policy rests with you (the disabled person) to show that you meet the definition of disabled within the policy and thus are entitled to receive benefits. While all insurance policies are different, often the definition of disabled will be that the insured is unable to perform the tasks of her or his own occupation.

To establish that you are in fact disabled, what is typically required is objective medical evidence that the insured meets the applicable definition of disabled. Medical evidence can come from various sources, including your family doctor, specialists, physiotherapists, and other medical professionals. You should gather as much of this information as you can as it relates to your disability to provide to your insurance company.

Insurance companies may require and seek further medical information to substantiate your claim.

However, the information requested needs to be reasonable and needs to be necessary to prove you meet the definition of disabled.

When obtaining medical information to substantiate your claim, or responding to a denial of benefits, it is essential that you are aware of the various limitation periods that may be at play. Within the insurance policy, there may be appeal periods for which you must respond to a denial of benefits if you wish to do so in the internal appeals processes outlined in the policy. Often the internal appeal period is thirty (30) days but please review your policy as these periods vary from policy to policy.

Additionally, Prince Edward Island’s Insurance Act outlines a maximum one (1) year period from the time you are entitled to receive payment under the policy to commence a Court action if your insurance company denies payment. The one year period is typically found in insurance policies; however, some insurance policies do provide a longer period to commence a Court action.

If your claim is rejected by your insurance company without cause, or providing reasons for doing so, in the face of medical evidence which would appear to establish eligibility for benefits, your insurance company runs the risk of attracting a claim of bad faith and corresponding aggravated and/or punitive damages. Aggravated and punitive damages are meant to guard against the most egregious conduct; however, due to the “peace of mind” nature of disability insurance contracts, the possibility of this type of damage arising in an improper denial of disability insurance is increased.

If you are dealing with a denial of disability benefits and/or feel your insurance company is treating you unfairly, the lawyers at Key Murray Law practicing in the area of personal injury law would be happy to discuss your rights, obligations, and options with you at a no fee initial consultation.

 

Richard A. Collier
Associate
902-368-7830
richard.collier@keymuarrylaw.com

 

Legal information appearing in this article and elsewhere on Key Murray Law’s website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for or replace any legal or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require legal advice, you should consult directly with one of our lawyers.
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Advance Care Planning

By | Uncategorized, Wills and Estates | No Comments

Why it should be on your “To-Do” list

Decisions regarding our legal, financial, property, medical, and personal care preferences are integral to our daily lives. But what happens if you are unable to make these decisions for yourself? Numerous circumstances can rob us of this ability. These situations can happen slowly and over time, such as with Alzheimer’s disease. Others may happen suddenly and without notice as a result of an accident. Being unable to make these decisions as a result of circumstances like these is referred to as legal incapacity. Put simply, this means temporary or permanent impairment by mental and/or physical disability, illness, or insufficient understanding to make rational decisions on your own behalf.

Advance Care Planning allows you to delegate alternate decision-makers to ensure your preferences are adhered to in times when legal incapacity prevents you from doing so yourself. This process can involve discussions with your family and friends, lawyer, healthcare provider, or any other person who you may wish to have make decisions on your behalf in the event that you cannot. Adults with legal capacity have the right to express their wishes in respect of legal, financial, property, health care and personal care decisions through the use of oral or written advance directives. These instruments allow you to delegate a decision-maker for all of these areas, or numerous decision makers with specific directions given to each.

In Prince Edward Island your Advance Care Planning should include a will, a Power of Attorney, and a Health Care Directive. A will is a legal document that provides the courts with proof of your intentions regarding your property and possessions and allows your loved ones to know how you wish to have those possessions distributed. It also delegates an executor, or personal representative, who will be responsible for the execution of your final wishes. Obtaining a will is one way to spare your loved ones additional difficulties during an emotional time. If you are to die without a will it can create a long and expensive process for your loved ones.

A Power of Attorney

is a written authorization allowing a designated individual to represent you in any matter that can lawfully be done on your behalf by an attorney. Your “attorney” in this case does not necessarily mean your lawyer, though you can grant these powers to your lawyer if you so choose. The powers granted to your attorney can be as broad or as narrow as you specify. There are three types of powers of attorney: specific powers, general powers, and enduring powers. Specific powers of attorney gives an individual a specific delegation for a specific act with the power of attorney ceasing when that delegated act is completed. A general power of attorney can delegate decision-making powers for a broad range of decisions or all decisions. General powers of attorney are common in situations where people wish to delegate only one decision-maker in the event of legal incapacity. An enduring power of attorney is typically included in a general power of attorney, allowing it to continue in the event that you become mentally incompetent.
A Health Care Directive is a written document in which you explain your preferences regarding health care and treatment for future events where circumstance prevents you from making or communicating such decisions. The decision maker appointed in a Health Care Directive is called a Proxy and they will act on your behalf, in your best interests, and in line with your wishes as provided in the Directive. Your Proxy will only make decisions on your behalf if it is medically determined that you lack the legal capacity to do so.
All of these instruments give you the opportunity to provide peace of mind for both yourself and your loved ones. They allow you to plan ahead and have your wishes be known and followed in the event that you are unable to express them. Deciding on an executor, a power of attorney, and a health care Proxy are important first steps. If you are interested in beginning your Advance Care Plan, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced lawyers at Key Murray Law.

Tessa Hills
Law Student
902-368-7810
Tessa.hills@keymurraylaw.com

Legal information appearing in this article and elsewhere on Key Murray Law’s website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for or replace any legal or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require legal advice, you should consult directly with one of our lawyers.
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DUI…….

By | Criminal Law, Uncategorized | No Comments

A brief overview of PEI’s impaired driving laws

According to 2011 Stats Canada data, PEI is the province with the 2nd highest rate of impaired driving charges in the country. Nearly 25% of the adult criminal court case load in PEI involved impaired driving. Astoundingly, 93% of those cases resulted in a guilty verdict. Across Canada, young persons aged 20-24 are charged at the highest rate. The rate of impaired driving among female drivers has increased significantly to at least 1 in 6 persons charged. In 1986, only 1 in 13 persons charged with impaired driving was female.

Under Canada’s Criminal Code, you do not need to blow over 0.08 (representing 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood) on a breathalyzer to be criminally charged with impaired driving. The Code says that a person may be charged if they operated a vehicle “while the person’s ability to (do so) is impaired by alcohol or a drug”, regardless of the volume of alcohol or drug detectable in the person’s system. A person may also be charged if they have “care and control” of a vehicle in circumstances that pose a realistic danger to persons or property. Individuals have been found guilty of a criminal offence for being found passed out at the wheel of a stationary vehicle.

If a police officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has alcohol or a drug in their body, and that the person operated a motor vehicle at any time within the previous three hours, the officer may demand that the person provide a breath sample or perform a physical coordination test. Refusing to provide a breath sample will usually be unadvisable as it will often result in a criminal charge that can have the same consequences as blowing over the legal limit. Punishment for criminal impaired driving offences include a criminal record, jail time, driving prohibition, fines and more.

Under the law of Prince Edward Island,

drivers who are under age 19 or who have held a driver’s license for less than three years regardless of age are afforded zero tolerance for alcohol in the body while operating a motor vehicle. Blowing over 0.00 will result in an immediate 24 hour driving suspension and a 90 day driving prohibition. For adult drivers, blowing between 0.05 and 0.08 will likely not result in a criminal charge, but will result in an immediate driving suspension which increases in length for each subsequent offence.
The moral of this story is this: do not drink and drive. If you plan to drink, plan ahead. Arrange a place to stay, call a cab, or call a friend for a ride. The risks to yourself, your future, and others is too great. If you do find yourself charged with an impaired driving offence, contacting a lawyer at your first opportunity is an essential step to ensure that your rights are protected and that you will get a fair result

Iain McCarvill
Law Student
902-436-4548
iain.mccarvill@keymurraylaw.com

Legal information appearing in this article and elsewhere on Key Murray Law’s website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for or replace any legal or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require legal advice, you should consult directly with one of our lawyers.
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Small Claims Court

By | Disputes, Uncategorized | No Comments

Understanding the Small Claims Process on Prince Edward Island

If you are seeking to take someone to court in a civil matter on Prince Edward Island (e.g. breach of certain contracts, faulty workmanship or an unpaid bill) and the amount of debt or damages for your claim is less than $16,000.00, you will have to use the Small Claims Court process. The limit for Small Claims Court has recently been increased from $8,000.00 to $16,000.00 effective July 8, 2017.

There are general forms available online to assist in either starting your claim or, if you have been served with a Statement of Claim, there are forms to assist with your Statement of Defence.

The Rules of Small Claims Court

Allow for documentation to be included in both the Statement of Claim and Statement of Defence with respect to the claim, a distinction from the General Section of the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island. There are important timelines to be aware of when dealing with a Small Claims matter, such as when a Statement of Claim should be filed, when the Statement of Defence has to be delivered or the filing of certain documents as the matter progresses through the Small Claims Court system. Furthermore, there are certain considerations if one of the parties is a minor, a mentally incapable person, a person outside of Prince Edward Island, a Partnership or a Corporation.

Although the Small Claims process does not require legal representation and is less formal than litigation in the General Section of the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island, the advice and guidance of a lawyer can ensure that your claim or defence is properly maintained through the Small Claims Court process. It should be noted that if you are successful in either your claim or defence, awards for legal costs are limited to a small set amount.

Lawyers at Key Murray Law who specialize in litigation would be happy to answer any questions you may have with respect to commencing or defending a claim in Small Claims Court on Prince Edward Island.

 

Derek I. Bondt
Associate
902-436-4489
derek.bondt@keymurraylaw.com

Legal information appearing in this article and elsewhere on Key Murray Law’s website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for or replace any legal or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require legal advice, you should consult directly with one of our lawyers.
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